Don’t read on if you’re arachnophobic, I’m serious. The Australian Reptile Park has a new 8cm Funnel-web spider called MEGASPIDER. It’s the largest Funnel-web the park has ever seen.
Eeeeek. That’s freaking huge. Much bigger than the average size of a Funnel-web spider, which usually clocks in at about 1-5cm. 8cm??? NOPE.
Its fangs are also 2cm long and could bite through a human fingernail. No, cursed, I refuse to see it.
Funnel-web spiders are one of the most deadly species of spider in the world, and the Sydney Funnel-Web is the deadliest spider in Australia. These spiders burrow in humid, sheltered places and can be found around NSW, in forests and urban areas. Nowhere is safe.
Thankfully they’re not all that common to stumble across, although they can be very dangerous when threatened. But do you know where you’re guaranteed to find one called MEGASPIDER? The Australian Reptile Park.
So the Australian Reptile Park has this new absurdly large Funnel-web spider – got that down? Here’s an extra twist. Nobody knows who dropped this giant spider off at the Park.
“We are really keen to find out where she came from in hopes to find more massive spiders like her,” says Michael Tate, the education officer of the Australian Reptile Park. “In my 30 plus years at the Park, I have never seen a Funnel-web spider this big.”
WHY DO YOU WANT MORE OF THEM??? I feel like this is the plot of some Jurassic Park-like movie where we find a really big spider and we try to find more really big spiders and then we realise we should never have found so many big spiders because they’re big spiders.
Ok, well, maybe I’m being a bit harsh – but it’s for a good reason. See, to stop big spiders like MEGASPIDER from killing people, we need antivenom, so the Australian Reptile Park milk venom from the fangs of Funnel-web spiders. It can save up to 300 people a year.
MEGASPIDER herself won’t be milked for venom because her venom is less potent than that from a male Funnel-web – hence why the Australian Reptile Park wants to know where she’s from.
“People can see MEGASPIDER – she’ll be on display in her own enclosure in Spider World at the Australian Reptile Park,” a spokesperson for Australian Reptile Park told Gizmodo Australia.
The huge Funnel-web was dropped off at a collection point in a Tupperware container, where the public can drop off caught spiders for venom milking.
“She is unusually large and if we can get the public to hand in more spiders like her, it will only result in more lives being saved due to the huge amount of venom they can produce,” Michael Tate added.
If you’ve got a spider of any type that you’ve been meaning to drop off at a collection site, the Australian Reptile Park has plenty across Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.
You can visit MEGASPIDER at the Spider World enclosure at the Australian Reptile Park.